It was business as usual at EC headquarters a day before Arun Goel suddenly resigned | India News


NEW DELHI: It was business as usual at Election Commission‘s Nirvachan Sadan office on March 7, a day before election commissioner Arun Goel submitted his resignation to President Droupadi Murmu.
That day, Goel had taken part in an off-camera interaction between EC, led by chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar, and members of the international media. The meeting was organised by the ministry of external affairs.
Earlier, on March 4 and 5, Kumar and Goel were in West Bengal as part of EC’s customary pre-poll visits to different states/Union Territories to assess election preparedness.
Sources indicated that Goel had, early into the visit, complained of uneasiness/discomfort.
However, he attended each of EC’s meetings with different stakeholders, which went on till almost 8pm on March 4.
On the morning of March 5, sources told TOI, a doctor’s visit was arranged for Goel at the Oberoi Grand hotel in Kolkata, where EC members were staying. The course of medicines started right away, but Goel, still in discomfort, excused himself from attending EC press conference in Kolkata at 12 noon on March 5.

After EC wound up its Bengal visit with the press conference, Goel travelled back to Delhi along with CEC and other EC officials on the same flight – Vistara flight No. UK-778, which departed Kolkata at 3.25pm on March 5.
On March 6, Goel attended office at Nirvachan Sadan, though there were no major meetings requiring the presence of the full commission.
On March 7, Goel, along with CEC Kumar, was part of EC’s interaction with the foreign media. As many as 27 journalists representing international media organisations like Reuters, The New York Times, Associated Press, Bloomberg News, BBC, Nikkei, Deutsch Welle, France 24 and Australian Broadcasting Corporation etc, were present as CEC fielded queries on matters relating to polls, EC and more.
On the morning of March 8 – the day he was to attend EC’s meeting with home secretary Ajay Bhalla to finalise force logistics, which is the most important input for deciding phasing of elections – Goel sent his resignation to the President.
A copy of the resignation letter was not shared with CEC, nor was the latter sounded out. Goel stayed away from office on March 8, leaving Kumar to finalise force logistics with the home secretary and the railway brass.
Goel’s resignation was accepted by the President on March 9. Goel could not be reached for his version despite several attempts.


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